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De Blasio closing schools, businesses in 9 New York neighborhoods where virus is spiking

De Blasio closing schools, businesses in 9 New York neighborhoods where virus is spiking
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New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioDisjointed vaccine distribution poses early test for Biden Fauci said second COVID-19 vaccine shot knocked him out for 24 hours Ohio vaccine distributor suspended after improperly storing, spoiling 890 doses MORE (D) said Sunday that he is planning to close schools and nonessential businesses in nine neighborhoods that have seen increases in coronavirus positivity rates. 

The plan, which needs state approval, aims to “contain the situation” and “avoid a bigger second wave” in the city, De Blasio said during a briefing.

Schools and nonessential businesses are closing in nine ZIP codes that had positive testing rates of more than 3 percent over the last seven days. The impacted zip codes include portions of Far Rockaway, Borough Park, Midwood, Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Sheepshead Bay and Kew Gardens. 

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The new restrictions would begin on Wednesday and include all public and private schools and daycares, the mayor said.

Restaurants will be limited to filling to-go and pick-up orders only. 

De Blasio said the city is not seeing a nexus linked to the spread from public schools, but the decision is being made “out of an abundance of caution” to limit the activity in those areas. 

“You want to reduce the level of activity in the community, that's what worked in the past,” the mayor said.

He said the schools may be closed for two to four weeks. 

De Blasio also said the city is monitoring 11 additional areas with a “growing problem,” but schools and nonessential businesses will not be shut down in those neighborhoods. Indoor dining, which had only just been reintroduced in New York City, will be curbed, however.